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Report on innovation in the Basque Country

Report on innovation in the Basque Country


34% of companies declared themselves innovators in 2016, according to Eustat. However, 75% consider themselves to be innovative, according to a recent collaborative survey performed by AENOR and Innobasque. This difference is mostly due to the fact that many companies are not familiar with the terms and innovation does not surface, even though it exists. This is significant, because in order to promote a particular type of activity, you must first be capable of recognising it. 

A year ago, AENOR and Innobasque signed a collaboration agreement to help companies to identify their level of innovation and to obtain information ahead of existing statistics.

75% of the Basque companies that were polled have come up with some form of innovation in the past 3 years, most notably in the field of technology. 

Specifically, 69% of companies developed a technological innovation, while 57% developed a non-technological innovation. Only 33% of companies developed an innovation related to marketing. This is an area for improvement that has also been identified in the latest edition of the Innobasque Innovation Report, since it indicates that the innovations developed by SMEs, particular those related to marketing, organisational models and business models, is the greatest challenge facing innovation in the Basque Country.

The work carried out jointly by Innobasque and AENOR also highlights that 63% of the companies polled expect to innovate next year.

On the other hand, medium-sized companies with between 100 and 249 staff innovated the most, doing so primarily using their own internal resources.

The service and industrial sectors are the most innovative sectors in the Basque Country, with 79% and 78% of their companies being innovative firms, respectively. In the case of industry, 75% produced technological innovations, compared to 54% which produced non-technological innovations.

The industrial sector also stands out for its R&D expenditure, with 51% of its companies carrying out internal R&D activities.